This newsletter is created by the SPR Committee to Promote Student Interests and is sent to current and recent student members.

Not sure what to do in the next stage of your career?  Want to know what to look forward to during the upcoming SPR conference?  Curious about how to bridge clinical science and psychophysiology? 

 In this issue, read about:

  •  The upcoming SPR Conference in Chicago:  Tips, awards, and events of special interest to students

  • The new Postdoctoral Student Subcommittee:  Get answers to frequently asked questions and interview tips

  • An interview with SPR Student Member Jim Coan about going on the academic job market

  • The new Clinical Psychophysiology Subcommittee:  How to get involved

  • The international section of SPR Student Web:  Sign up and promote international exchange

  • An interview with psychophysiologist Dr. Brigitte S. Rockstroh: Gain an international perspective

  • How to contact members of the Committee to Promote Student Interests


I. Upcoming SPR Conference

Mark your calendars! This year, SPR will be held in Chicago, IL, USA from October 29 - November 2, 2003 at the Hyatt Regency, Chicago. If you are looking for a roommate or if you have advice to share with others, the new message board on the SPR Student website can help.

Cat Norris has volunteered to be the student contact person for the 2003 SPR conference in Chicago. Cat attends the University of Chicago and is a member of the SPR Committee to Promote Student Interests. For the scoop on Chicago, contact her at cjnorris@uchicago.edu.


II. Student Poster Awards and Tursky Awards

Earn extra cash in less than 500 words by applying for a student poster award! In an effort to promote career development, Student Poster Awards will be awarded to up to 15 student members at the upcoming SPR conference. A $300-$500 cash prize will accompany each award. Among these winners, up to three of the best posters will be given Tursky Awards, a highly honored award named after long-time SPR member Bernard Tursky. The Tursky Award comes with a plaque, and the cash prize is increased. So here's a way to make money doing what you were planning to do anyway, AND potentially win a decorative wall ornament! In the words of Past President and Tursky Award Committee Chair Margaret Bradley, "Go for it!!" She also states, "Our goal is to have all eligible students apply for this award.  IT'S EASY!" 

Click on the link below for eligibility, submission instructions and sample posters from past award winners.

Good luck to everyone who will be submitting a poster! Abstracts submission deadline is May 1, 2003. Instructions for posters will soon be available on the SPR Website.


III. Events of Special Interest to Students

Several events taking place at the October 2003 SPR conference are specially geared toward students and recent graduates. Descriptions of these events are listed below. Also refer to the conference program and inserts for specific details (these materials will become available closer to October).


Open Dinner Meeting with the
Committee to Promote Student Interests

Thursday, October 30, 2003
 Location: TBA

Promote your interests! Come talk to the committee about how SPR is addressing or can better address student interests. Remember that this is an open dinner - all student members of SPR are welcome and encouraged to attend. Do you have questions or concerns about your role as a student member of SPR? Have a great idea for how to improve communication among students? Want to know what we've been up to over the past year? Attend the dinner meeting and make your voice heard!


Student Social

Thursday, October 30, 2003
Location:  TBA

Meet your peers! Join us for the SPR Student Social on Thursday, October 30, 2003. It's bound to be a good time. Last year, about 35 student members showed up at Polly Esther's to dance, drink, and socialize- courtesy of SPR! This social gives you a chance to find out about other students' research, make new friends, and see some of Chicago's best nightlife! Keep your eyes open for additional information on this year's student social.


Clinical Psychophysiology Student Gathering

Time and Location Pending

Calling all clinical psychophysiologists! The Committee to Promote Student Interests has recently created a subcommittee of students interested in issues specific to Clinical Psychophysiology (see below, this issue!). This subcommittee hopes to host a lunch or dinner event where all students interested in this topic can attend and talk research! We'll keep you posted on the date and location of this event.  

Early Careers Conversation Hour

Time and Location Pending

Been there, done that? If not, learn from someone who has! Last year's Early Careers Special Interest Lunch, hosted by John Allen, was reported to be such a huge success, we decided to continue the tradition! At the upcoming meeting in Chicago, the new Postdoctoral "Student" Committee (described in the next section, below) will be hosting a special interest conversation hour on early career issues for interested students, postdocs, and others.  So watch for more details in future updates of this newsletter.  If anyone has questions, concerns, or ideas for this new subcommittee, please feel free to contact us (click the "Send Suggestions" link on the left), or bring your thoughts to dinner!

Other Special Interest Lunches and Dinners

Wednesday - Saturday
Various Times and Locations

Partake of Chicago cuisine and your research interests! Throughout the SPR conference, faculty host "special interest" lunches and dinners, which focus on a wide variety of research topics and other topics relevant to students and faculty. Last year, special interest meals were held on topics such as early career issues for graduate students and postdocs, teaching psychophysiology, the merging of neuroimaging and cardiovascular psychophysiology, startle issues and methodology, schizophrenia, and the psychophysiology of antisocial and psychopathic behavior. These lunches are a great way for students to meet both professors and peers alike to discuss similar research interests. Registration for the special interest meals varies, so make sure to keep an eye out for this information - some will be advertised over email, some will be announced on the web site, and information for others will be posted on the message board at the conference. (So you can avoid that awkward question, typically these are no-host meals, which means BYO$. All the more reason to apply for a Poster Award!)


IV. New Postdoctoral "Student" Subcommittee

A new subcommittee has been developed to address the interests of those SPR members who are currently in a postdoctoral position, as well as students interested in early career/postdoctoral issues.  One of the committee's first initiatives has been to address the questions and concerns students have expressed about the early career process.  For those interested in a research career in psychophysiology, a postdoctoral position is frequently the next step after graduate school. 

Click on the first link below to read some of the most frequently asked questions concerning the early career process, along with some general advice gathered from various SPR members.  The second link provides a list of helpful questions and tips for the postdoctoral interview process.  (Many thanks to those who contributed!) 



The Postdoctoral Committee will be hosting a special conversation hour on early career issues for interested students, postdocs, and others (see "Events of Special Interest to Students" section above).

V. Being on the Job Market: Featured Interview with Jim Coan

 Integrating the SPR Student Newsletter's regular feature, "Interview with an SPR member," with this issue's focus on Early Career Issues, we bring you an exclusive interview with Jim Coan, who shared his experiences about being on the academic job market. The interview was conducted by Sarah Sass and covers issues of special interest to up and coming psychophysiologists. Thanks to Jim and Sarah for such a candid and compelling interview!



VI.  Special Interest Section: Clinical Psychophysiology

Calling all clinical psychophysiologists! Are you a budding psychophysiologist in a clinical psychology program, or working with clinical populations? 


If you are (or would like to be), you'll be happy to know about the new Clinical Psychophysiology subcommittee, the brainchild of SPR student member Greg Hajcak.  The goal of this committee is to bring together clinical psychophysiologists and to:


        Discuss research methodology and relevant literature

        Talk about the challenges of simultaneously mastering psychophysiological methods and enriching clinical knowledge (and the challenge of employing psychophysiological methods with some clinical populations!)

        Facilitate networking and perhaps collaborations!


Keep your eyes peeled for a special interest luncheon at our next meeting- in Chicago! (See above section, "Events of Special Interest to Students.") In the meantime, if you have ideas for how this subcommittee could best benefit clinical psychophysiologists like yourself, we encourage you to email your thoughts to the Committee to Promote Student Interests (click the "Send Suggestions" link on the left).


VII.  International Exchange

Interested in International Exchange? Thanks to the efforts of Stephan Moratti from the University of Konstanz, Germany, we are proud to continue featuring the International Exchange Opportunities section of the SPR student web page. The aim of this section is to identify laboratories and graduate students who may be interested in participating in an international exchange. The principle of such an exchange is that interested graduate students would simply swap his/her work place with that of a student from another country. Thus, with the cooperation of the participating laboratories and graduate institutions, students can be financed by their graduate program during the exchange.

We encourage psychophysiological labs supporting such an idea to go to the link below and enter their profile! Once a list of laboratory profiles is established, graduate students can search for labs that match their geographical and research interests, and international exchange can be facilitated.

Please enter your laboratory profile by visiting:

The SPR International Exchange Forum

This is one more step toward improving international exchange and collaboration. The planning of other international sections (e.g., postings of international workshops; including this link on the main SPR web page) is underway, so stay tuned!


VIII. International Specialty Interview with Dr. Brigitte Rockstroh

In case you missed the opportunity to read the interview with Dr. Brigitte Rockstroh upon its initial posting in the newsletter, here's your second chance! Thanks to Stephan Moratti for conducting the interview, which covers issues of interest to new and old(er) members alike.


IX. Members of the Committee to Promote Student Interests

Are your needs being met? Please feel free to contact members of the committee below with suggestions, questions, comments, or to bond with a fellow psychophysiologist:

Faculty Chair

John JB Allen,  University of Arizona



Web Subcommittee

This subcommittee maintains and develops the SPR student website. They integrate content from other subcommittees, as well as develop new content as appropriate.


Andrea Chambers (Chair), University of Arizona

Eddie Harmon-Jones (nonstudent), University of Wisconsin

James A Coan, University of Arizona



Newsletter Subcommittee 

This subcommittee updates and prepares the semi-annual newsletter. The newsletter highlights items of special interest to students, and is timed to go out to members in electronic form in April, and again in August. These deadlines are timed with respect to two major SPR events that the newsletter can highlight for students May 1 is the deadline for submitting an abstract, and the fall SPR meeting is in most often October, with student poster competition deadlines about one month prior to the meeting. The newsletter will highlight activities of other committees (e.g. Interview), as well as develop content as the committee sees fit.


Nicole A Roberts (Chair), University of California-Berkeley

Jennifer L. Stewart, University of Illinois

Rebecca J. Houston (postdoctoral student), University of Connecticut

Terrance Williams, University of California-Los Angeles

Marja Germans Gard, University of California-Berkeley

Sarah Sass, University of Illinois



Interview Subcommittee

This subcommittee will interview two SPR members per year. Stephan Moratti conducted a very nice interview with Brigitte Rockstroh, our first interviewee. We have a list of questions that was developed with the assistance of many members, and one that can form the core of any interview, with additional questions to be added as appropriate. At our recent meeting in DC, committee members suggested that it would be good to interview a post-doctoral fellow or new faculty member, and also to specifically inquire about the job market and interview/hiring experience. The interviews ideally should be completed in time to highlight in each newsletter.


Sarah Sass (Chair), University of Illinois

Stephan Moratti, University of Konstanz

James A Coan, University of Arizona

Greg Hajcak, University of Delaware

Catherine J. Norris, University of Chicago



International Students Subcommittee

International students comprise a substantial proportion of the student membership, but also appear to be less likely to remain members after graduation. There are likely a variety of factors responsible, but the International Students Subcommittee can examine ways in which SPR can better address the needs of international students. Stephan Moratti developed an international exchange web page that allows interested labs to host students from other laboratories. Worth considering is that the 2005 meeting is in Lisbon Portugal. As that meeting draws near, one of the things the subcommittee can do is to make sure that student needs and interests are anticipated for this European meeting. The last European meeting in Granada Spain was very popular and appeared to attract many European students.


Stephan Moratti (Chair), University of Konstanz

Ake Elden (nonstudent), Louis Pasteur University Strasbourg

Greg Hajcak, University of Delaware



Post-doctoral "Student" Subcommittee 

Postdoctoral students have specific needs that overlap with those of student members. Recent efforts of our committee led to a reduced fee structure for recent graduates, but surely there are other issues that our committee might address.


Jonathan Wynn (Co-Chair; postdoctoral student), University of Southern California

Rebecca J. Houston (Co-Chair; postdoctoral student), University of Connecticut

Nicole A Roberts, University of California-Berkeley


Meeting events Subcommittee

Each year we attempt to find a local student host for the annual meeting. This local host finds info on cheap eats, cheap excursions, and cheap transportation to the hotel. The student host also assists in finding a place for the SPR sponsored student social, and does whatever else seems appropriate to make the conference fun, informative, and affordable for students.


Catherine J. Norris (Chair), University of Chicago

Sarah Sass, University of Illinois



Program Committee Representative

Each year one of our student members sits on the program committee to ensure that the student voice is represented. This position also allows the student member to get an inside glimpse of the meeting planning, involves reviewing abstracts, and begets the immense gratitude of the membership.


Colleen Brenner, Indiana University


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